After a letdown performance on Friday, the Oakland offense bounced-back by launching four HR's in last night's 5-1 victory against the Rangers. The prospects for a repeat performance are high considering Miles Mikolas (18 ER in 21 IP) will take the mound against this heavy-hitting A's lineup. You really can't go wrong with any Oakland bats today, righty or lefty, but if I had to list them in order of preference: Brandon Moss (1B), Yoenis Cespedes (OF), John Jaso (C), Josh Donaldson (3B), Stephen Vogt (C) and Josh Reddick (OF) all have power-upside with ideal hitting conditions in Arlington.
Brandon Moss (1B) – OAK: He hasn't done much this series (2-8), but you can't deny Moss as a top option for today's slate. Standing in against the shaky pitching of Miles Mikolas in a hitter-friendly ballpark screams long-ball potential to reward those who have been patient with him.
Justin Upton (OF) – ATL: Upton will face a subpar lefty (Eric Stults) at home today, which can be considered a near-supreme situation for him. He owns a .403 wOBA vs LHP, and his price of $3,800 on FanDuel doesn't break the bank either.
Corey Dickerson (OF) – COL: Already two players into the Forecast, and I haven't mentioned Coors Field? We need to change that. Dickerson loves some home cookin' in Colorado, accounting for 5 extra-base hits and 2 HR's in the past five games. Pittsburgh's pitcher, Edinson Volquez, owns a subpar .335 wOBA vs LHB, and I'm not expecting that number to decrease after today.
Evan Gattis (C) – ATL: Gattis will enjoy the same tasty matchup I outlined in the Justin Upton write-up. I believe the Braves can get to Padres' starter Eric Stults today, powered by Upton, Gattis and Chris Johnson from the heart of the lineup.
Charlie Blackmon (OF) – COL: Blackmon is the slightly cheaper version of his top-shelf teammate, Dickerson. His $3,200 price tag on FanDuel is a steal considering his power, on-base and run-scoring potential from the leadoff spot.
Ben Zobrist (2B) – TB: I am definitely looking to plug some Rays into my lineups, squaring off against Boston youngster Allen Webster, who posted an 8.60 ERA in 7 starts last season. Granted, Webster has shown improvement in the minors, but pesky contact-hitters like Zobrist and Joyce should be able to chip away at him.
Stephen Vogt (C) – OAK: I think I've already conveyed my affection for the Oakland bats today along with my subsequent disdain for Miles Mikolas. Vogt is one of the better "per $" values for the A's ($2,900), serving as an easy way to gain exposure to one of the higher predicted scoring teams of the day.
Matt Adams (1B) – STL: Cubs rookie Kyle Hendricks is no slouch, but I think Matt Adams and a few other Cardinal bats (Carpenter, Wong) can get to him this afternoon. A rough homestand last week drove Adams' price down to the bargain category of just $3,000 on FanDuel. He's a very dependable salary cap relief option if you don't want to pay up at 1B (or if you've been burned one too many times by Brandon Moss).
Carlos Beltran (OF) – NYY: Guess who's back? Finally, Beltran is starting to look healthy after churning out back-to-back HR games. He typically fares better from the left-side of the plate, but he should still be considered while batting cleanup at this cheap price point.
Also Consider: Josh Harrison (OF) – PIT, Wilin Rosario (C) – COL, Jed Lowrie (SS) – OAK, Oswaldo Arcia (OF) - MIN
Adam Wainwright - STL: "Waino" is really the only ace in action today, and he will take on the strikeout happy Cubs. If he can navigate his way around the red-hot bat of Anthony Rizzo, Wainwright should have a solid bounce-back performance after struggling vs Tampa earlier this week.
Chris Archer - TB: Speaking of Tampa, they have done a great job at holding down Boston in the past two games, and I expect that trend to continue for the series finale. Archer has been cruising over the past month, posting a 3-1 record with a consistent average of 7 IP, 2 ER, 6 K's in those games. A similar line against an unimposing Red Sox offense is more than feasible.
Mike Minor - ATL: Finally, we get to the risk/reward play. The Padres have been heating up in their past several games, but I'm not buying into their offensive renaissance quite yet. Conversely, Mike Minor has had his share of recent struggles by giving up 12 ER in the past 9 IP, but I'm expecting him to turn his luck around against the typically anemic Padres.
Also Consider: Scott Kazmir - OAK, Jimmy Nelson - MIL, Hyun-Jin Ryu - LAD